Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

First impressions of the ultimate cuteness - the iPhone 12 Mini


As I upgrade my iPhone every year, I usually go with the same kind of model, just better. Three years ago I went with the iPhone X. Two years ago I had a choice between XR, XS and XS Max. I chose the natural successor - iPhone XS. Last year I went with the iPhone 11 Pro. So naturally this year I’d go for the iPhone 12 Pro, right? Well… wrong! I went with something smaller:

The phones are getting too big! And I’m not!

I’m a short person (5,4”) with relatively small hands. I got used to iPhone Plus sizes, I got used to iPhone X sizes… but they never felt comfortable. They always felt too big and too heavy for me. Last year when I got the original iPhone SE for testing I had a glimpse of what a nice small handy phone can be like. I then thought:

If Apple only gave me a phone of this size but with all-screen design, I’d take it!

And this is what they delivered with iPhone 12 Mini1. Here’s how these two compare (with the iPhone 3G for reference):

First impressions of the ultimate cuteness - the iPhone 12 Mini 2

To all fairness, I was still not sure whether to buy this phone or not, but this segment by Marco Arment on ATP convinced me that this thing will excite me the most this year and it does!

The ultimate cuteness is here!

I finally got my iPhone 12 Mini this Monday so I had little time to play with it. However, already after these few days I can’t believe how much joy this phone brings me! So. Much. Joy.

First impressions of the ultimate cuteness - the iPhone 12 Mini 3

First off, I’m using the Mini completely case-less. I ordered the MagSafe Wallet but it hasn’t arrived yet, so quickly bought this cheap Sinjimoru card holder and slapped it to the iPhone’s back. Now I have my minimalistic wallet back. I only keep my driver’s license there, one $50 bill and one physical credit card just in case. That’s it. All my other cards are added to the Apple Wallet so that I can use them via Apple Pay.

The iPhone is totally cute.

It fits perfectly in my hands. I can hold it comfortably without a risk of dropping it. And I’m not really worried about the phone as such. I saw the drop test. Things should be fine.

Screen is perfect!

It’s smaller than the one on my old iPhone 12 Pro (5.8” vs 5.4”) but the point size is the same so I see the same stuff, just smaller. As I’m blessed with great eyesight, I have no issues with it. Everything looks great. Also, the supposedly dimmer screen on the iPhone 12s vs Pro is a non-issue. Screen is bright and sharp. And this year all iPhone 12s get the OLED display. Including the Mini.

I’m still not sure about the battery life as I’ve tested it too little to judge. Definitely less juice than my previous phone due to significantly smaller battery, but I think it’s gonna be fine. I just hope it’ll last a day in normal usage. Right now it’s hard to know because I’m using this thing a lot.

I’ve also taken too few photos to know if I’m missing the telephoto. Time will tell.

An iPhone from the future is here

First impressions of the ultimate cuteness - the iPhone 12 Mini 4

Like I’m holding the future. A small card that is interactive and powerful and takes great photos. When I’m holding it I cannot believe it does all these things.2 There’s something magical about this size. Something surreal.

And so much joy.

John Gruber in his review of the iPhone 12 Mini wrote:

There was a time when miniaturization in technology cost a premium. Smaller cell phones cost more than larger ones. A smaller camera that captured the exact same quality images cost more than a larger one. That the iPhone 12 Mini costs $100 less than the iPhone 12 feels too good to be true. I suspect most of the people who want a 12 Mini don’t want it because it costs less, they want it entirely because they prefer the size. It’s like Apple is just handing these people a $100 bill along with the no-compromise smaller iPhone they’ve been waiting for.

Yep. That sums it up. That’s how I feel like right now.

First impressions of the ultimate cuteness - the iPhone 12 Mini

  1. Nope. I’m not gonna use the small “m” in “Mini”. I’m going to capitalize it against the Apple’s will, because the Mini is the name of this phone and this glorious phone deserves the capitalization. It’s an iPhone 12 Mini. It’s the Mini! 

  2. Our latest Nozbe Teams iOS app works freaking fast on it. The scrolling, the navigation, even in very long project or task lists… I’m completely spoiled. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020 /mini/